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Daily Devotions from Lutheran Hour Ministries

"Who's Afraid?"

May 19, 2007

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"Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.” John 14:27

Around 1932, a minister traveled across the country on the train. He and another young man had an entire compartment to themselves. To pass the miles they started to talk. The young man talked about how, although he had once been a Christian, he had neglected the Lord. He related how reverses had left him despondent of today and afraid for tomorrow. Indeed, he confessed that he didn’t believe he would be able to stand on his own much longer.

The minister reached into his canvas suitcase and brought out his Bible and a pencil. He put the Bible on his lap and asked the young man, “How would you like to see me stand this pencil up on the cover of the Bible?” “Even with the train rocking?” “Even with the train rocking.” The young man, thinking this would be a nifty trick, encouraged, “Please go ahead and begin any time you wish.” The minister replied, “I’ve already begun. The pencil is standing on the Bible.” “Unfair,” came the reply. “You’re holding the pencil.” To which the minister confessed, “Of course! A pencil can’t stand without someone holding it.”

I’m reasonably sure that most of the folks reading this book have been or are afraid. They may be afraid of failing health or that a rising crime rate will show up at their door. Possibly they’re afraid their children won't love them or their parents might embarrass them. Maybe you’re afraid that someone might find out about your past? Or you’re afraid of what you might do in the future. The list is endless. Let me sum it up by saying that it’s likely you have a fear that is souring your life—both the todays and the tomorrows. Let me add this: If you’ve tried to deal with your fear all by yourself, you’ve probably not done a very good job.

If that describes your life, remember, Jesus Christ came into this world to hold you up. That is why He was born; it is why He suffered and died; it is why He sends His Holy Spirit. Jesus wants to call you to faith, to forgive your sins, to change your perspective, to make you unafraid—to hold you up. A promise to hold us up is what Jesus makes to all who believe on Him. It is a promise He alone can keep. He, who conquered sin, Satan, and the grave, can conquer your fear as well. Believe Him when He says, "Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid."

Excerpt from The Lutheran Hour sermon preached on May 16, 2004

The Prayer: Dear Lord, thank you for conquering sin, Satan, and the grave. Give me the strength to conquer my fear. I place my trust in You as I strive to have an untroubled heart and a fearless life. In Jesus' Name, I pray. Amen.

Today's Bible Readings: 2 Samuel 21-22    Psalms 18    John 6:22-40

Change Their World. Change Yours. This changes everything.

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